Thuzi Event Platform and Windows 8

Last year we delivered our live event platform to the market. The Thuzi Presence Platform was a huge hit and was immediately leveraged by brands such as Under Armour, OfficeMax, INDYCAR, Tampa Bay Lightning, Purina and many more. We were challenged with registering and supporting tens of thousands of attendees at live events in venues that ranged from professional football stadiums to convention centers. We quickly realized that the platform would benefit from implementing touch screens everywhere. We are clearly living in the tablet/phone generation and most people assume that every app is a touch app.

 

When we looked at the market for the best devices for touch screen, we looked at iPad, Android and Windows 8. We quickly found out that not only did Windows 8 do everything we needed it to do, but there were many form factors to choose from and we were already very familiar with the programming model. The ability for us to sideload apps to devices in the field made it very easy for us to build a native solution and be able to remotely support it. The Thuzi Presence Platform enables attendees to link their social credentials (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammer, email) to NFC/RFID chips in wristbands, keychains, decals, etc… and then scan their chip to post content to their social network. The platform is made up of a number of very strategic applications that we plug into the platform depending on the activation requirements for the event. We decided to build our Registration, Photo Tagging, Photo Booth and Video Booth on Windows 8 and leverage many of the devices that support Windows 8. For example, we often use NFC readers that require USB connectivity and the Surface tablet has USB and iPads don’t.  Windows Phone 8 worked great for our mobile registration and Photo Paparazzi apps as well because of the built in NFC readers in the Lumina 920.  In addition to Windows 8, we use Windows Azure and SQL Azure as our backend which integrates very nicely with our front end event platform.  It allows great scalability and ease of development.

 

As we began to develop Windows 8 apps, we used both C# and JavaScript. With Microsoft adding WinJS, we were able to use some of our web developers’ skills to write apps that worked both in the browser and in the native environment. Since we work with Facebook as a PMD partner, we decided to contribute our WinJS Facebook integration work back to the community in the form of an SDK.

 

You can find the Facebook WinJS SDK here: https://github.com/Thuzi/facebook-winjs-sdk
You can find the Scrumptious Sample here: https://github.com/Thuzi/facebook-winjs-sdk-sample
Let us know what you think and if you need some help building the next cool app for Facebook for yourselves or your client, drop us a line and we will see how we can help you be successful!

 

Thuzi Releases Facebook Node.js SDK while Facebook recognizes them as part of the new Technology Partner Program

Facebook has just announced the Facebook Technology Partners Program and has named Thuzi as one of the charter members.  Thuzi was recognized due to our extensive experience and contributions to the community of developers building Facebook applications in JavaScript.  Information about the Facebook Technology Partners can be found here: Facebook Technology Partners – Facebook Developers

 

Thuzi’s contribution to the community includes two Facebook SDK’s; one for Node.js and one for WinJS. Both codebases are forks of the original Facebook Javascript SDK, with adaptation to run in Node.js and also the new Microsoft Windows 8 WinJS environment.

 

Here at Thuzi we love JavaScript and use it to create Facebook applications of all kinds including Web apps (Canvas, Tab and Microsite) and Native apps (iPhone, Android, Windows 8). Recently we have embraced Node.js in all its glory. Since we made this decision, we have experienced faster development cycles than we ever thought possible. When we embarked on this path, we naturally scanned the community for Node.js Facebook SDK’s and found nothing that was fully baked. This lead us to a plan to fork the Facebook JavaScript SDK and change a few things to make it work best with Node.js without impacting the SDK. The huge advantage here is that we get to re-purpose the code we write on the client side for server side applications as well. This strategy has provided enormous efficiency benefits, there was nothing new to learn, and all the JavaScript examples you can find online just worked without modification!

Here is simple example using Facebook Node SDK.

npm install fb

var FB = require('fb');

FB.api('4', function(res) {
    console.log(res);
});

In addition to the compatibility with the client side Facebook JavaScript SDK, we have also modified some of the internal code and added helper methods that strengthened the server side. For instance, oauth requests, such as exchanging code for access token, extending expiry time for access token, etc. only work in the Facebook Node SDK.

In order to avoid callback hell, we have also added a special method called napi which follows the callback pattern found in most of the node libraries. Here is an example using Step.js – an async control flow library for Node.


var FB = require('fb'),
Step = require('step');

Step(
    function getUser() {
        FB.napi('4', this);
    },
    function processResult(err, res) {
        if(err) throw err;
        console.log(res);
    }
);

You can find the source code of Facebook Node SDK along with the Scrumptious sample here: https://github.com/Thuzi/facebook-node-sdk

Let us know what you think and if you need some help building the next cool app for Facebook yourselves or your client, drop us a line and we will see what we can do to help you succeed!

 

813-704-0025
info@thuzi.com

Facebook Releases Custom Voting Application

On Monday December 3rd, Facebook released an application inviting their users to vote on several important policy changes that affect the future of Facebook governance. The application, built by Thuzi, is specially architected to handle extremely high volumes as all of Facebook’s 1 billion plus users are eligible to participate.



You can read about the proposed changes and voting process here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-site-governance/responding-to-your-feedback/10152321231735301

The seven-day voting period has now ended but you can visit the custom Facebook application to see vote results, here: https://apps.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance

Voting Started December 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm (PST) and Ended December 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm (PST).

Facebook announces 1 Billion Users


Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook now has over 1 billion active users. An impressive feat considering it was only eight years ago when he launched the social networking site in his Harvard dorm room. By far the largest site of it’s kind, Facebook reached 500 million active users in July of 2010 making it one of the fastest growing sites in history.

 

In a public statement, the very happy CEO said: “This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”

 

The company also has more than 600 million mobile users which is up by 48 million from 552 million in June. According to Facebook, people have made 140 billion friend connections, there have been 1.13 trillion Likes, 140.3 billion friend connections, 219 billion photos uploaded and 17 billion location check-ins.

 

It will be interesting to see the networks growth in the coming years as the internet becomes more available in developing countries and as both the old and the young embrace the now inescapable power of the “Add Friend” button.

Tampa Bay Lightning Celebrate 20 Years – Video Released

The Tampa Bay Lightning asked us to create a teaser video for the upcoming website: www.20YearsOfThunder.com. We we’re honored to join them in celebrating 20 great seasons of hockey in the Tampa Bay area!

In this video you can see selected clips from the previous two decades, highlighting some of the Lightning’s greatest moments. The video was also used to unveil their new 20th anniversary logo. Many of us in the office are big fans and season ticket holders, so we always enjoy working with their great organization.

Check out the video, pass it along to your friends and be sure to visit the site again on July 16th for even more great content. Watch the video at: www.20YearsOfThunder.com.

UPDATE: The custom video has been replaced by an interactive website Thuzi built, using the same URL. Read about the new interactive sports history website HERE.

Hooters Announces 2 Million Fans on Facebook

Recently, Hooters surpassed the 2 Million Facebook fan threshold at  www.facebook.com/hooters and is now closing in on 2.2 million.  Reaching this loyalty level did not happen accidentally.  Hooters has consistently worked with Thuzi following a strategy to provide fun and entertaining fan engagement backed by Thuzi’s best in class social media platform.  Read more about the achievement in the Hooters Press Release.

Facebook Acquires Mobile Payment Startup TagTile

What a week for Facebook!  Starting with the record-shattering $1 billion USD deal to buy photo sharing mobile app Instagram and now another mobile app purchase.  This time it is TagTile, a startup mobile payment and loyalty application company based in San Francisco.

TagTile is another purely mobile purchase for Facebook, (available as a free download in the App Store and Google Play) but this is aimed specifically at mobile commerce.  This purchase continues Facebook’s focus on generating revenue for their upcoming stockholders while providing an unmatched social mobile experience.  Additionally, the Facebook acquisition of TagTile comes on the same day that the social media giant has officially released Facebook Offers.  View the video Introducing Facebook Offers on Facebook’s official YouTube page.